New homes plannedfor the bay

Published on Thu, Feb 24, 2005 by Jack Kintner

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New homes planned for the bay

By Jack Kintner

The Trillium Corporation sold 150 acres to local developers Jim Kaemingk and Fred Bovenkamp last week for a planned 450 unit partially gated community to be called Horizons at Semiahmoo.

The $15 million parcel is south of Semiahmoo Parkway, east of Selder Road and across Birch Point Drive and slightly east of Birch Bay Village. A part of the first phase of construction involves building a connector within two years to allow traffic from Birch Point Road to connect with Semiahmoo Parkway, perhaps using Selder Road. Ultimately a version of a connector first envisioned in the Birch Bay subarea plan will be built connecting Birch Point Road to Shintaffer Road, “but that may be five years or more away. We want to do this first connection sooner,” Kaemingk said.

The parcel sits in the middle of a part of the Birch Bay urban growth area (UGA) that the Birch Bay steering committee’s consultant Mart Kask identified as having potentially significant traffic problems in the future due to insufficient road capacity. Suggested remedies over the next 20 years, outlined in the steering committee’s subarea plan approved last year by the Whatcom County Council, include the connector that Kaemingk and Bovenkamp are ultimately planning to complete in one of the later phases of the development.

The parcel has a commanding view of Birch Bay, and of Mt. Baker and the San Juan and Gulf islands in the distance. “It’s going to be a lot like the rest of Semiahmoo,” Kaemingk said, “except that with fewer trees it will have a lot more sunlight and will have a lot of view property.”

Kaemingk added that much but not all of the development will be gated, “a draw for some people because of the security it offers,” he said. The living units will be divided between “about 150 condos that will sell for $180,000 up to about $900,000 for the ones with nicer views,” he said.

Aside from the initial connecting road, the first phase of construction will focus on larger family homes in the northeast corner of the property. Land set aside for parks and trails, including a section of the Coast Millennium Trail, amounts to roughly 23 acres.

February 24 is the last day to file written comments with the Whatcom County hearing examiner on the proposed development. An open hearing will be scheduled at a later date.